Joseph W.S. de Graft-Johnson

Dr. Joseph William Swain de Graft-Johnson (6 October 1933 – 22 April 1999) was a Ghanaian engineer, academic and politician. He was Vice-President of Ghana from 1979 to 1981.

Joseph de Graft-Johnson
1st Vice President of Ghana
(3rd Republic)
In office
24 September 1979 – 31 December 1981
PresidentHilla Limann
Preceded byNew position
Succeeded byKow Nkensen Arkaah
Personal details
Born6 October 1933
Cape Coast, Gold Coast
Died22 April 1999(1999-04-22) (aged 65)
London, England
NationalityGhana Ghanaian
Political partyPeople's National Party
Spouse(s)Lily Anna de Graft-Johnson (née Sekyi)
ProfessionEngineer, Academic


De Graft-Johnson practised as an engineer in Ghana. He was a lecturer at the Buildings and Roads Research Institute of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology at Kumasi, and later became the director. He was also one of the founding members of the Ghana Institution of Engineers (GhIE), of which he was the President from 1977 to 1978.[1]


During the era of military rule under the Supreme Military Council, he was involved in opposition to continued military rule as he was then President of the GhIE, one of many professional bodies in Ghana opposing the military government. He suffered personal attacks because of this.[1] De Graft-Johnson joined the People's National Party (PNP) when it was founded in 1979. This was after the ban on political parties imposed in 1972 by the National Redemption Council was lifted. The PNP won the elections and he became the first ever Vice President of Ghana[2] in the Limann government. The government was overthrown by coup d'état on 31 December 1981. He left for exile in London, England after the coup.


De Graft-Johnson died on 22 April 1999 in London at the age of 65.[3] He was buried in Cape Coast.[4]


  • De Graft-Johnson, J. W. S.; Harbhajan Bhatia; A. A. Hammond (November 1972). "Lateritic Gravel Evaluation for Road Construction". Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division. 98 (11): 1245–1265. Archived from the original on 21 May 2005.


  1. ^ a b McGough, Laura J., Dr (December 1999). "The Ghana Institution of Engineers In Perspective". Ghana Institution of Engineers. Retrieved 6 June 2006.
  2. ^ "Aliu makes history as first Veep to earn two terms". Ghana Review International. 6 January 2005. Archived from the original on 16 March 2006. Retrieved 6 June 2006.
  3. ^ "Mills signs book of condolence for former Veep". GhanaWeb. 12 May 1999. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 6 June 2006.
  4. ^ "Dr de-Graft Johnson to be buried on Friday | General News 1999-05-27". Retrieved 2018-12-07.
Political offices
New title Vice-President of Ghana
Succeeded by
Kow Nkensen Arkaah